Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eastern Sierras

The above campsite is in one of my favorite spots. Goodale Creek is a primitive campground between Big Pine and Independence. Lava flowed here at some point and some is visible behind my motorhome in the photo. The Sierras highlight the landscape to the west and it doesn't matter if you are parked facing north or south, the view is spectacular. To the east are Owens Valley and the Inyo Mountains. Changing weather conditions light the mountains and drops snow on the peaks.

It is a good location for exploring the surrounding area. It was my base for spending time at Manzanar, the Alabama Hills, the trip to Whitney Portal, and Big Pine Creek Canyon. Part of the time another RVer, Boomer, Photographer, Don Peterson joined me. It is always fun for me to go out shooting with another photographer. It makes me get up earlier than I would if I was going alone, gets me excited and makes me look twice at things .He had only briefly visited this area a couple years ago so I played guide. I love sharingspecial places. And it is fun to then share the photos we have taken.

The above two photos are other scenes at Goodale Creek campground. Its obvious that there is plenty of space and peace and quiet.

Below are some typical scenes from the Alabama Hills. This site has been used for many films and one almost expects to see the Lone Ranger, John Wayne, or Gary Cooper to ride out between the narrow piles of sandstone boulders.

This is Don with his camera

This arch must be the most photographed scene in the Alabama Hills so of course I had to do some versions of it too. The weather did not cooperate; Mt. Whitney can often be seen in the background but clouds blotted it that morning.

Above: Fun lighting near Hwy 395 driving home from town one day.

Whitney Portal is the trail head for those who wish to hike the highest peak in the lower 48. For those of us with less strenuous desires, the drive to the Portal and a walk around the base of this waterfall, the small lake, and the trees in the area is a great way to spend some time.
Below: On the drive back from Whitney Portal the skies opened enough to look back, from near the Alabama Hills, to see Mt. Whitney. The sculpture is something new from my last trip to the area. It seems to mark the entrance to a new home in the area, but it make a great prop for the view.

Another day included the drive on the June Lake Loop with dozens of stops. Extreme winds the day before cleared the air and did not knock all the leaves from the aspens. The loop is protected some. Snow was still blowing from some of the peaks and open areas had blown clear. High wind advisories along Hwy 395 kept me off the roads. The windshield was blown out of a car parked at the Mono Lake Visitor center which is an indication of the velocity.

Rush Creek tumbles down the mountain on its way to Mono Lake. In recent years, court orders have required that the water enter the lake rather than being diverted by the Los Angeles Water Department.

Below: After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, all people of Japanese ancestry, down to 1/8, were removed from their homes and businesses and placed in concentration camps, relocation centers, whatever term you want to use. Manzanar, along Hwy 395 was the first camp. Here people were housed in military barracks, fed in mess halls. The site is now a National Historic Park under the National Park Service. Within the last two months, they have opened two barracks and a mess hall so people can see the living conditions.

Guard tower to prevent people from leaving the camp. Eventually people were allowed to legally leave. Among those leaving were young men who fought in one of the most decorated army units, fighting for this country in Italy while their parents, siblings and children were held behind barb wire at home.
I knew much of this story, but a new tidbit on this visit was that children of Japanese descent in orphanages were also sent to this site. Any child with as much as 1/8 Japanese ancestry was transferred to Manzanar. .
But what can one expect of hysterical times and racism. Hysteria and racism can do some strange things. I have trouble imagining a 4 year old orpahn being a threat to national security, but that is what happened.

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